Everglades National Park

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Florida Soft Shell Turtle under water, Everglades National Park, Florida- click to see full size image
This is a Florida Soft Shell Turtle. Note the "snorkel" ended nose, which is used for breathing. (The lighter color snorkel looks like a rectangular box stuck on the end of the nose in this photo.) By extending only the end of the snorkel above water the turtle can breath while keeping its head and body submerged. In addition to breathing through their nose, they can absorb oxygen through special adaptations in the neck and anus. The theory is these work almost like gills in a fish, providing supplemental oxygen and allowing them to stay underwater for longer. Photo taken on Shark Valley Loop Road.


Text, photos, and images by Jess Stryker, unless noted. Copyright © Jess Stryker, 2008. All rights reserved.
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